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Order Hemiptera - The Water Scorpions
Distinguishing characteristics - Water scorpions have a distinctive, long body shape (Fig. A). Their antennae are found under their eyes and are shorter than the head (Fig. B). They have a three or four segmented cylindrical beak (Fig. C) and raptorial fore legs (Fig. D). Their abdomen ends in a long cylindrical breathing tube (Fig. E, top), composed of two filaments (Fig. E, bottom).

We have one genus and species of water scorpion in North Dakota, Ranatra fusca. They are found in swamps, ponds, and streams.

Genus - Ranatra

Tolerance Value - 8

Feeding Group - Predator

Notes - The Water Scorpions are lie and wait predators which are usually found in debris or vegetation in shallow areas. They are poor swimmers so they suspend themselves upside down with their breathing tube sticking out of the water waiting for prey to swim by. The size of the water scorpions at maturity is 15-45 mm.

Penny Picture

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